You know, sometimes I just want to talk about death. Not always, but once in awhile. That’s my Herd of Elephants in the Room. At least that’s what it feels like because nobody wants to talk about it, but it’s there, in the background, in the periphery. Sometimes it’s the last thing I want to talk about, think about. However, there are times when the elephants that are always with me — in the living room, the kitchen, at work — want to make themselves known.
I want to talk about death in the personal — my death, and in the abstract — death in general. I want to talk about my fears. I want to talk about how my own death will affect me, what my dying will probably be like. No one wants to talk about it, though, and I get it; I do. My death will affect people who love me. Their lives will be different; they will miss me. I get it. That’s why, I think, when you mention death, people often make it about themselves. “I don’t want to talk about that.” I’ve heard many versions of “I just know you’ll beat this!,” when the fact is that I may live for years with it, but it’s unlikely that I’ll beat it. It’s unlikely that in my lifetime, however long that is, a cure will come for this. I know that. I live with it every day, every hour, every second.
It’s no wonder sometimes I feel the need to talk about it, but I don’t. For the most part, I keep my thoughts to myself because I don’t want to upset people, I don’t want to hurt them. I don’t want to invite them to see the herd of elephants behind me because they’re big and scary and all too real . . . even if they’re just a metaphor.
Listen, I hope I beat this. I would love nothing more than a miracle that brings me to complete remission for a long time. However, I also realize how unlikely that would be. It’s the truth; no need to deny it. I want to talk about how much I’ll miss, how much I’ll miss the people that I’ll leave. I want to talk about how I love my life and even though I know that when I die I’ll be in heaven, I don’t want to leave this life yet . . . or anytime soon or even anytime in the next several years.
Sometimes I just want to say that.
But I keep the elephants quiet and in the background. I keep them hidden. I keep quiet . . .
even when I don’t want to.
Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.